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Photo: Nick Oxford/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The American Medical Association (AMA) and more than 60 other health groups on Thursday urged companies with over 100 employees to voluntarily implement President Biden's vaccine-or-testing mandate, saying the requirements are "essential to protect workers."

Driving the news: The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued the rule earlier this month, prompting immediate legal challenges. OSHA has suspended its enforcement of the rule pending further legal developments.

  • That decision came after a federal appeals court ordered OSHA to "take no steps to implement or enforce" the rule "until further court order," the department said.

Context: Partial enforcement of the rule, which includes a masking requirement for unvaccinated employees, was set to begin Dec. 5, per the White House.

  • The rule also requires companies with over 100 employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested weekly by Jan. 4.

What they're saying: "We—physicians, nurses and advanced practice clinicians, health experts, and health care professional societies—fully support the requirement that workers at companies with over 100 workers be vaccinated or tested. This requirement by the Occupational, Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reasonable and essential to protect workers," the joint statement from the health care groups said.

  • "From the first day of this pandemic, businesses have wanted to vanquish this virus. Now is their chance to step up and show they are serious. Implementing these commonsense OSHA standards is an important step for our workers, businesses, and the nation as a whole." 

Go deeper

GOP courts anti-vaxxers with jobless aid

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Republican officials around the country are testing a creative mechanism to build loyalty with unvaccinated Americans while undermining Biden administration mandates: unemployment benefits.

Driving the news: Florida, Iowa, Kansas and Tennessee have changed their unemployment insurance rules to allow workers who are fired or quit over vaccine mandates to receive benefits.

14 hours ago - Health

Omicron variant lifts Moderna's stock price

Moderna's stock soared 12% Monday, putting its market cap just shy of $150 billion.

Driving the news: The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has raised a lot of questions, including whether the vaccines will remain as effective.

Watch: A conversation on health equity in 2022

On Dec. 2 at 12:30pm ET, Axios health care editor Tina Reed and congressional reporter Alayna Treene will examine persisting health equity issues and the work underway to close gaps in access, featuring Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), Baltimore City Health Department Commissioner Letitia Dzirasa and Brown University dean of the School of Public Health & Professor of Health Services, Policy, & Practice Dr. Ashish K. Jha. Register.